Prices of Privacy (was Re: Hey Paul? (Pomo Ground Clearing))

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Sun Mar 7 17:25:51 PST 1999

Hi Kelley:
>if it troubles folks that i don't have a name attached to d-m-c or digloria
>pls consider why there might be perfectly innocuous reasons: i don't always
>want to be identified precisely b/c of the chavez's of the world. i pay to
>have this privacy when i could have an account free from my uni. it is
>nice to be able to engage in discussions freely without people being able
>to look up info about me.

(1) Your writings have stylistic quirks that are dead giveaways. Try different voices, tones, points of view, formats, etc. Before the author becomes dead, she has to be murdered first.

(2) In cyberspace (and the real world), noone/everyone hears your scream for privacy. According to Denise Caruso (NYT, 1 March 1999, C4):

*** [P]rivacy advocates wrested a hollow victory from the Intel Corporation, after the company announced that its new Pentium III chips contained embedded electronic serial numbers for authenticating documents, E-mail and copyrighted material. Watchdogs warned that the numbers could be used to identify a computer to prying software, or to allow companies or agencies to track a person's movements across the Internet.

Intel refused to remove the number, but agreed to provide software that hides it behind a digital fig leaf, software that some say has already been compromised....

Privacy advocates were extremely cranky after discovering that Florida, South Carolina and Colorado were selling residents' driver's license information to a New Hampshire-based company, Image Data L.L.C.

They were even more outraged to discover that the Secret Service had financed another private company's efforts to develop a national data base of driver's license photographs.

And in the most telling testament yet to the commercial value of personal data in the Internet economy, a start-up called Free PC announced that it would provide a free Internet connection and a free Compaq computer to anyone willing to "apply" by answering a detailed questionnaire and then accepting constant bombardment by advertisers based on the personal profile created from the questionnaire....

A recent Wired News feature predicts that an up and coming pack of these entrepreneurs will "cut the consumer in" on the deal when information about them is bought and sold. Infomediaries keep a percentage for themselves for providing the security mechanisms by which consumers can control [sic] exactly who buys their personal data and for what purposes. ***


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